STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – The Nittany Lions have what many college football programs would call a “good problem.” They have many talented players whom they are working with to develop for now and the future.
In Tuesday’s weekly press conference Penn State Head Coach James Franklin commented on the positive impact of internal competition of having a deep roster.
“Yeah, I think the competition always helps,” said Franklin. “It helps solve a lot of issues, I think.”
Franklin used an example from Saturday’s win to illustrate his point of how the players have accepted the competition and embraced one another’s success. Franklin noted that when KeAndre Lambert-Smith scored his touchdown Kalen King was the first one to greet him in celebration on the sidelines.
“Kalen and KeAndre’s battles at practice are like legendary,” Franklin said. “I think that was kind of a really good example and kind of a tip of the hat of Kalen seeing KeAndre be successful and KeAndre saying, well, you’re a big part of that success because of how we go against each other every single day at practice.”
Franklin pointed out that the number one focus is doing what needs to be done to win the game. Development is important too he noted, but it comes in second to results.
“Ultimately it’s about what you do with the reps you get,” Franklin said. “We’ve been pretty good there, to be honest with you, in terms of culture and in terms of buy-in to that.”
Franklin admitted that everyone wants more reps and they’ve found a way to do that despite having such a deep roster. Penn State plays a developmental scrimmage on Sunday and the coaching staff believes that helps everyone get their catches and carries in.
“I think we’ve made them more competitive. I think they’ve been a little bit more fun. It’s pretty cool, the veterans all stay out there, and they’re cheering them on, and it’s been really good energy. So, I think that helps, too.”